Secondary school mourns headteacher after cancer death

Pupils and staff have been left devastated after a popular secondary school headteacher died of cancer.

Tributes poured in for Rowley Regis headteacher Jayne Gray after her death this week
Tributes poured in for Rowley Regis headteacher Jayne Gray after her death this week

Jayne Gray was the headteacher of St Michael’s Church of England High School in Rowley Regis for five years and previously was in charge of Grace Academy, Darlaston.

The headteacher died on Wednesday and pupils were informed of her death the next day, with internal and external support teams drafted in to help the children deal with the news.

Chair of governors, Colin Nicholls, acknowledged the five years of outstanding service Mrs Gray gave to the school saying “her legacy and vision would live on at St Michael’s in everything we do.”

Simon Lakin, St Michael’s lead on ethos, said: “Mrs Gray’s values and vision shaped this school; anyone who ever met her knew that every ounce of her being was determined to help all of us flourish and grow, as individuals and as a school community.

"She lived and embodied our school values – to show love, care and compassion to all.”

Senior deputy headteacher Christina Handy-Rivett praised Mrs Gray's dignity as she dealt with her diagnosis.

She said: “Mrs Gray dealt with her illness with a tenacious, optimistic and practical attitude throughout her treatment.

"In living with her diagnosis, she continued to successfully lead St Michael’s, always putting the students and school community before her own needs.

"As a leadership team, we are privileged to have worked with her and she will be greatly missed; she was an aspirational leader and mentor and we will continue to uphold everything she stood for.”

Sarah Smith, Birmingham Diocesan director of education, believes Mr Gray encapsulated the Christian values the school was established to promote.

She said: “Mrs Gray embodied the very essence of excellence in Church School leadership. This wonderful school community has flourished under her commitment to living out a Christian vision and the desire to provide the best educational opportunities for all.”

Mrs Handy-Rivett said thoughts and prayers are with Mrs Gray’s family and the school would work with them to ensure a fitting memorial at the school.

A book of condolence will be opened from Monday, October 11 to Friday, October 15, between 8am and 5pm, for members of the community and former students and parents to pay their respects.

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